Molecular theory of the tilting transition in smectic liquid crystals with weak layer contraction and diffused cone orientational distribution

Mikhail Osipov, Grzegorz Pajak

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A molecular field theory of the smectic-A−smectic-C transition has been developed for smectics with a diffused cone orientational distribution of molecules (volcano-like distribution function) in the smectic-A phase and anomalously weak layer contraction in the smectic-C phase. Orientational order parameters and smectic layer spacing have been calculated numerically as functions of temperature and compared with the results obtained using a model with a standard Maier-Saupe–type distribution function that has been considered before. A molecular theory of the electroclinic effect in chiral smectics has also been developed using the recently proposed simple biaxial interaction potential. A comparison has been made between the absolute values and temperature variations of the electroclinic coefficient obtained using the volcano model, the model with Maier-Saupe–type distribution, and the orthodox cone model proposed by de Vries. It has been shown that the model with a conventional “sugar loaf” type orientational distribution function in the smectic-A phase is sufficient to describe the main properties of smectics with anomalously weak layer contraction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number021701
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number121701
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2012


  • tilting transition
  • smectic liquid crystals
  • weak layer contraction

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